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In today's Morning Brief:

Member states call for Horizon Europe to go full steam ahead

Member states say a newly found consensus on third country access to sensitive research projects means the European Commission should now go ahead and publish the Horizon Europe work programme detailing calls for proposals, deadlines and budgets for the next two years. Stakeholders hope the agreement will end months of uncertainties around international participation in sensitive R&D projects in Horizon Europe, the €95.5 billion R&D programme. The agreement also paves the way for the full launch of the programme next week, nearly six months after it was due to get underway. But some are not rushing to draw the same conclusions from the negotiations last week. The Commission has yet to confirm the agreement. Read more on Science|Business.


Open Call: The EIC launches the Overseas Trade Fairs Programme 2.0

With the EIC Overseas Trade Fairs 2.0 Programme (OTF 2.0), EIC beneficiaries will receive pivotal support to promote their commercialisation strategy at international level and showcase, from January 2022 on, their innovative products and services at 15 international trade fairs around the world.

 On 17 June, at 10 CEST, the Overseas Trade Fairs 2.0 Programme and its first two calls (CES Las Vegas 2022 and Arab Health 2022) will be officially launched by Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General of DG Research and Innovation. The launch event will serve as a first introduction to the OTF 2.0 Programme; why should you join? What are the benefits stemming from your participation? How can OTF 2.0 help you grow your business globally? All these questions and many more will be answered during this session. Register here.


International IP Enforcement Summit 2021

The 4th International Intellectual Property Enforcement Summit will bring together key European and international decision makers, enforcement agencies, multinational companies and other relevant players to discuss ways to improve protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the EU and around the globe.

Organised by the European Commission, the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Swedish IP Office (PRV), the conference will take place on 22 and 23 June. It will aim to bring strategic and practical guidance and share good practice on how the fight against counterfeiting and piracy should contribute to a healthier society, a more sustainable environment and a stronger economy. Programme and registration are available here.


EIB supports IE University in Spain with a financing plan of up to €30 million

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a financing plan of up to €30 million for IE University, an educational institution recognised across Europe with students of 140 nationalities on its Madrid and Segovia campuses. The EIB financing, supported by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, amounts to €15 million in an initial tranche, which could be extended by another tranche for the same amount in 2022.

Investments financed by the EIB include upgrading state-of-the-art equipment to boost the digitalisation of the institution. IE University will expand the liquid learning methodology that enables students to attend class in-person or online with the same immersive and academic experience. The EIB financing, subscribed with Instituto de Empresa, an educational group to which IE University belongs, will facilitate the design of academic materials, data management and analysis, and the use of new technological tools applied to education. Read more here.


ESFRI: the coronavirus pandemic changed research infrastructures

Big research labs are set to make a permanent feature of ‘needs must’ operational changes forced on them by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they take stock of lessons learned over the past year. Jan Hrušák, chair the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) expects big labs will fine tune remote access schemes and allow more researchers to send in samples for those projects that do not require their physical presence in the lab.

In the face of the pandemic, research labs fast-tracked access for urgent health projects and had to put many other experiments on hold. Labs around Europe closed their doors as travel restrictions and lockdowns hit, and had to invent new ways of carrying out essential work safely. Now, in recognition that these new ways of working give the research infrastructures themselves and geographically spread scientists that rely on their resources, more flexibility, these new methods could be extended beyond the pandemic. Read more on Science|Business.


Intel answers EU call to scale up European capacity for semiconductor chips

Intel, the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips, will open a foundry plant for cutting-edge semiconductors in Europe in a bid to diversify its global supply chain. The announcement, made in March, is a welcome boost to the EU’s ambition to raise its semiconductor production. Thierry Breton, the EU’s Internal Market Commissioner, directly mentioned Intel last month as one of the global chipmakers the EU wants to attract in Europe. The invitation is part of the EU’s updated industrial strategy, which sees semiconductor technologies as an area of key vulnerability for Europe’s strategic interests.

Europe’s share of the world’s production of computer chips is a mere 6% as production has been relocated elsewhere. Asia holds as much as 80% of the world’s semiconductor manufacturing capacity. A global shortage of computer chips is exacerbating this dependence on foreign producers, as the COVID pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and also increased the demand for electronic devices. The foundry plant will allow EU companies to produce their chips in Europe based on their own tailor-made design. At the moment, most of the production of chips for European producers takes place in Taiwan or South Korea. Read more on Euractiv.


Analysis: EU will fall short of meeting 2030 digital targets

An analysis of 12 recovery plans submitted by European Union member states seen by EURACTIV ahead of publication indicates that the investment proposed will see the bloc falling radically short of the digital targets it has set itself for the end of the decade.

The analysis, conducted by Deloitte and set to be published on 21 June, focuses on the recovery plans of 12 member states submitted to the European Commission in order to unlock funds from the EU’s historic post-pandemic recovery fund. The study looks at to what extent the proposed investments would be sufficient to meet the ambitious Digital Decade targets laid down in the Digital Compass 2030 presented by the Commission in May. It concludes that only the provision of online public services is currently on track to meet the 2030 targets. The other targets are not expected to be met at the current conditions.

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19/05/2022: REPower EU, Green Transition, Natura 2000 awards, EU Blue Economy Report, Women in the Blue Economy, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– REPower EU: A plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition;
– Research and Innovation to REPower the EU;
– ASEM Global Lifelong Learning Week;
– Scientists from the University of Coimbra test new intelligent monitoring systems for vineyards;
– Natura 2000 Awards: EU recognises excellence in nature protection across Europe;
– EU urges building insulation push in bid to end reliance on Russian gas;
– Finland, Japan open call for research cooperation;
– EU Blue Economy report: Ocean economy fuels European green transition;
– The “Women in the Blue Economy” call for proposals is now open;
– EPFL: A new law unchains fusion energy.

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18/05/2022: Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence, Russian gas supply, Partnerships for Regional Innovation, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Renewable energy industry says EU fund for clean tech is failing its mission;
– The Guild: Diversity, sustainability and quality must be the hallmarks of academic publishing in Europe;
– Climate change: MEPs push for accelerated EU action and energy independence;
– EU and US edge closer together on AI at latest Trade and Technology Council meeting;
– Open Call: New EU TalentOn invites young, academic talent to find solutions for our most pressing challenges;
– Commission launches EPREL database to help consumers on energy efficient products;
– LEAK: EU countries urged to prepare for Russian gas ‘supply shock’;
– Forging sustainable timber construction in Europe;
– President Zelensky urges US universities to help rebuild Ukraine’s higher education system;
– Partnerships for Regional Innovation: 63 regions, seven cities and four Member States selected for Pilot Action.

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17/05/2022: Renewable Energies, Lump Sum Funding in Horizon Europe, EU Missions, Gender Equality, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– In focus: Employment in EU’s renewable energy sector;
– Webinar: Lump Sum Funding in Horizon Europe: How does it work? How to write a proposal?;
– Horizon Europe – EU Missions calls 2022: Virtual brokerage event;
– BAM and BTU team up to close Germany’s skills gap in hydrogen technologies;
– A plan for achieving gender equality in the research and innovation system;
– SymbNET PhD Summer school on host-microbe symbioses;
– Tracking agricultural-related deforestation.

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